BBC on IVF cuts: Missed opportunity to educate on biology of human reproduction

BBC Sunday Morning last addressed questions relating to IVF and Fertility http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b091pgzj

 

The discussion can be picked up at 39.48 minutes in.

 

Following the news of major cutbacks on NHS IVF provision in 13 areas of the UK

(https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/06/ivf-cut-back-in-13-areas-of-england-in-bid-to-save-money-new-data-shows ) it was hoped that the issues surrounding these decisions would have been addressed with a focused and informed analysis particularly in the representation of what constitutes modern day ‘infertility’.

 

Women need to wake up to the reality of their own reproductive biology and should be encouraged and supported by society to conceive naturally at the time nature intended.

 

And how helpful it might have been if the BBC had explored any of the issues related to the root causes of infertility and how to treat them, rather than take for granted that the only way forward is costly IVF.

 

Just some of the biological, medical and social issues not stressed:

 

  • Women are born with a finite number of immature eggs.

 

  • Age impacts hugely on fertility. Women’s fertility is on a natural downward spiral from menarche to menopause, with natural post-35 pregnancy possibilities ever less likely.  By 40 the chances are as low as 5%. http://www.infertile.com/beating-biological-clock-2/

 

  • No mention of risks of IVF including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

 

  • No focus on cheaper, safer approaches, including NaProTechnology, or IUI.

 

  • No suggestion that society should embrace and accommodate women’s biology and career ambitions, rather than simply offer costly, invasive, stressful and troubling treatments when it is often too late.

 

  • Some women will of course have fertility problems not specifically age related. These should be appropriately addressed by the experts, but the number one message to send out to those of child-bearing age and who wish to have children, is a very simple one, ‘Don’t leave it too late.’
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